It’s December 6th, and as usual for this time of the year, I find my thoughts consumed by the upcoming holiday season. As each days completes I award it a mental check mark, counting down, until respite finally arrives.
As a substitute high school teacher, my work days are often filled with challenges, and as the fall semester progresses, I find myself yearning for the arrival of the winter break. Roving around the suburbs of York Region, I spend each day at a different location with different staff and students. I am forced to rely on school maps and the kindness and pity of both teachers and students to successfully navigate my day. And as a substitute secondary school teacher, I also spend much of my time negotiating the broad spectrum of student behaviour-from the focused and respectful to the undisciplined and belligerent-that typically characterizes the high school genre.
As with any other vocation, some of my experiences are more positive and pleasant than others, but unlike many other jobs, mine lacks any kind of consistency or continuity. Making connections with peers and students is challenging when these variables change from day to day.
Nonetheless, I take pride in my ability to adapt and to keep any classroom that I am in charge of a safe, functioning, and pleasant learning environment. And most days I actually enjoy what I do. That being said....by this point in the academic year I anxiously anticipate the arrival of the winter holiday break. After months of following the same rigid daily routine, and being responsible for hundreds of other parents’ kids, I happily welcome the break-both in regimen and in responsibility.
For me, the winter break is a time to recharge my depleted physical and emotional batteries and to spend as much quality time with my family and friends as possible. I relish the simple things-curling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine and my husband....going to the mall with my girlfriends and braving the chaos of Boxing Day shopping together....vegging on the couch with my two teenage sons, watching movies and indulging in various junk foods and sweet treats (provided by Cupcake Junkie, of course!).
And it is during this time that I can also appreciate all of the positivity, beauty, love, health, and peace that encompasses my life, and that I often take for granted during the rest of the year when the challenges of work and home make living much more complicated.
It may only be a couple of weeks on the calendar, but the winter holiday break is a much needed and most appreciated gift for those of us who give life everything we’ve got every other day of the year.
The staff at Cupcake Junkie would like to wish all of its customers, supporters, and blog readers a very happy, healthy, and peaceful winter holiday season. Enjoy! And don’t forget to pick up your favourite Cupcake Junkie holiday treats....you’ve earned them!